Telepsychiatry During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Development of a Protocol for Telemental Health Care

Ramalho, R. and Adiukwu, F. and Gashi Bytyçi, D. and El Hayek, S. and Gonzalez-Diaz, J.M. and Larnaout, A. and Grandinetti, P. and Nofal, M. and Pereira-Sanchez, V. and Pinto da Costa, M. and Ransing, R. and Teixeira, A.L.S. and Shalbafan, M. and Soler-Vidal, J. and Syarif, Z. and Orsolini, L. (2020) Telepsychiatry During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Development of a Protocol for Telemental Health Care. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 11.

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Background: The rapid spread of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has forced most countries to take drastic public health measures, including the closure of most mental health outpatient services and some inpatient units. This has suddenly created the need to adapt and expand telepsychiatry care across the world. However, not all health care services might be ready to cope with this public health demand. The present study was set to create a practical and clinically useful protocol for telemental health care to be applied in the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: A panel of psychiatrists from 15 different countries covering all World Health Organization (WHO) regions was convened. The panel used a combination of reactive Delphi technique and consensus development conference strategies to develop a protocol for the provision of telemental health care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Results: The proposed protocol describes a semi-structured initial assessment and a series of potential interventions matching mild, moderate, or high-intensity needs of target populations. Conclusions: Telemedicine has become a pivotal tool in the task of ensuring the continuous provision of mental health care for the population, and the outlined protocol can assist with this task. The strength of this protocol lies in its practicality, clinical usefulness, and wide transferability, resulting from the diversity of the consensus group that developed it. Developed by psychiatrists from around the globe, the proposed protocol may prove helpful for many clinical and cultural contexts, assisting mental health care providers worldwide. © Copyright © 2020 Ramalho, Adiukwu, Gashi Bytyçi, El Hayek, Gonzalez-Diaz, Larnaout, Grandinetti, Nofal, Pereira-Sanchez, Pinto da Costa, Ransing, Teixeira, Shalbafan, Soler-Vidal, Syarif and Orsolini.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: cited By 5
Uncontrolled Keywords: Article; clinical practice; clinical protocol; consensus development; coronavirus disease 2019; Delphi study; generalized anxiety disorder; health care delivery; human; mental health care; mobile application; pandemic; Patient Health Questionnaire 9; psychiatrist; social media; telemedicine; telepsychiatry; web browser; World Health Organization
Subjects: WC Communicable Diseases
WM Psychiatry
Depositing User: eprints admin
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2021 05:41
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2021 05:41

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